Issue 4
Monday, 10 April 2017
Charles Darwin University
Car detailers Lartita Moore, Jamie Finn and Alfred Turner
Car detailers Lartita Moore, Jamie Finn and Alfred Turner

Student pride cuts through the dust

By Patrick Nelson

A silver four-wheel drive in dusty Alice Springs was at its gleaming best last week after a group of car detailing students had finished with it.

Trades Team Leader Jamie Finn said the vehicle had given his students a perfect canvas on which to develop some valuable “work ready skills”.

“We had about 160 middle school students on campus participating in a broad range of activities that included making coffee, tyre fitting and cabinet making,” Mr Finn said.

“We offered auto detailing for the first time. It’s a skill that’s always in demand in the dusty Red Centre and one for which people will pay plenty in the marketplace.

“At the end of the day the program is about giving students a taste for trades.” 

Mr Finn said the eight car detailing students worked on a different vehicle each day including a silver four-wheel-drive, which they cleaned inside and out, from top to toe.

“Different tools and techniques are needed to bring out the best finish in the different materials and surfaces on a motor vehicle,” he said.

“One of the strengths of this activity is that you can get a result in a short space of time. After just a few hours’ endeavour, they can step back and see what a difference they’ve made.”

Mr Finn said car detailing was also ideal for teaching students about pride as a work value.

“If there’s one thing I’d like to instil in all trades students, it’s that taking pride in your work is paramount.”

Mr Finn said students had returned to their middle schools after the one-week training block at CDU.

“We’ll see them again next term for another week, although they’ll all be doing a different activity.

“The program is designed to help students work out what courses to choose in their senior secondary years.”

The activities on offer are: Nursery assistant, conservation land management project assistant, auto car detailing, meat industry assistant, cabinet making, tyre fitting, electronics, metal fabrication / plumbing assistant, coffee-café assistant, cooking-café assistant, customer service attendant, and business assistant.